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Taking some laptops for a test drive

Posted Dec 04 2009 6:22pm

When I asked the Mummified kids if they were interested in helping me review some Acer Aspire laptops, there was a collective “Heck, yeah!”

So we’ve been each had the chance to try out the Acer Aspire ZA3, the Acer Aspire 5935G and the Acer Aspire 4810TG, all with Intel. All three models were easy to connect to our internet connection (which was great for me, because that’s not my area of expertise!). readfile.php (JPEG Image, 250×213 pixels)_1258511452288

  • The Acer Aspire ZA3

I’ve been wanting to buy a netbook for a while now that I can take it to my photography classes and blogging events. So I was interested in checking this one out.

If you’re a specs kinda person, then you’d be interested to know that the ZA3 features:

  • Intel Atom processor Z520 @ 1.3 GHz
  • Hard Drive = 160 GB
  • Display = 11.6` LED LCD @ 1366 x 768 HD
  • Memory = 1.0 GB DDR2
  • multi-card reader slot, Crystal eye web cam and integrated BlueTooth.

    The first thing I noticed was how light-weighted and compact it was. The keyboard is full size but because I’m used to having a keyboard with the number pad on the side, I found I was hitting the wrong keys. So it would take me a little while to get used to using it.

    One thing that I didn’t like is that the pre-installed operating system is Windows XP Home Edition. Also the 1Gb ram isn’t much for the multitasking I do and it only has 1 ram slot so when it’s upgraded, you need to discard the 1Gb ram and replace it with a larger one.

    While it would be handy to have a laptop this size to cart to photography classes, I don’t think Photoshop would run very well on it because it has only 1G ram. I believe I would need at least 2 – 4GB ram for the software to run properly.

    If you’re just wanting to browse the net, watch videos on YouTube, email, social network or blog, then this little guy is perfect. I can just imagine myself flying over to the US for BlogHer with the ZA3 in my handbag.

  • The Acer Aspire 5935G

    it_photo_28001_52 I haven’t had much of a chance to play around with this one because as soon as William got his eye on it, that was it! I think it may have had something to do with being able to watch Blue-ray dvds and HD television on it. It also has a handy remote control so if you have it sitting on the table, watching tv, you don’t need to get up.

    Some specs for those interested:

    • Intel Core 2 Duo TP8600 Processor (2.4GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 3Mb L2 Cache)
    • Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium
    • Bluray Disc Drive 2x Write
    • 4 Gb DDR2 RAM and 500 Gb HDD
    • 15.6 inch WXGA LED Display

    I found that it’s quite heavy and because I usually sit on the lounge with my laptop on my lap, this one wasn’t suitable for that. It was be better to have it sitting on a table. The speakers throw out great sound and the keyboard keys have spaces between them which allows light through for easier typing.

    • The Acer Aspire 4810T

    Acer-Timeline-4810T_1 First impression of this laptop was that it was incredibly sleek and light-weighted. This one would be good to carry around with you in your tote and use while you’re out and about.

    Some specs for those interested:

    • Intel Core 2 Solo SU3500 1.4 ghz, 800 Mhz FSB, 3MB L2 Cache
    • 4GB DDR 3 ram
    • 320GB 5400rpm Western Digital
    • DVD+RW super multi
    • Wireless A/B/G (Atheros)
    • 14.1 in 1368 x 768 LED (720P)
    • Windows Vista Home Premium 64 bits

    If I was in the market right now to buy a laptop that would be light enough for me to take out and about and would handle doing a multiple things at once, then this is one I would definitely be looking at. With 4GB ram and a 320GB hard drive, this laptop quite easily handled having my email program, a browser open with multiple tabs, music playing and photoshop.

    I also think that being so lightweight and quiet, this one would be good for students to use. My only concern would be if it was dropped, would it cope being so sleek. It was definitely one of my favourite ones to blog on, although the keyboard keys are quite smooth. I prefer keyboards with a little texture but that’s just a personal choice.

    Overall, the three models are great laptops. My personal opinion is that:

    • if you’re a gamer, then the Acer Aspire 5935G is for you.
    • if you’re a blogger or just want to surf the net, email or social network, then the Acer Aspire ZA3 is for you
    • and if you’re a student, you should take a look at the Acer Aspire 4810T

    Keep your eye out for the post about what the kids thought about the laptops.

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